Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blu-ray: still not replacing DVD

From the WSJ, last month:
The studios resolved their next-generation DVD format war almost two years ago. So far, though, the take from Blu-ray has been underwhelming. The high-definition home-video format, now four years old, will produce just $1.3 billion in revenue to studios this year, says Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research. That’s about 14 percent of anticipated sales of regular DVDs this year, and half what the older format produced in its fourth year, in 2000.
I continue to believe that the adoption of Bluray is going to be extremely disappointing to companies like Sony, who bet a lot of money on convincing consumers to replace their whole DVD libraries with new BR discs. Except, of course, that this kind of thing almost never happens. (Except with the Beatles.) What drove DVD sales was that a combination of aspects that made DVDs a more useful, desirable product that consumers wanted to build new libraries.

I had a small collection of VHS tapes. I have a collection of DVDs that can't possibly be healthy for me. I would never have realistically built as large a collection of VHS tapes, but DVDs made it much easier.

Then there's this:
...shoppers are also flocking to models that cost a bit more, . . . for their ability to stream content from the Internet, including movies, television shows and music from services like Netflix Inc., Google Inc.’s YouTube and Pandora Media Inc.
So people are finally starting to buy BR players (still not enough, though!) but the ones they're buying are specifically the ones that are also compatible with the next video delivery system, the Internet.

Ouch.

3 comments:

Cliff said...

In order to win a format war the replacement has to be an order of magnitude better than it's predecessor.

CDs were an order of magnitude better than cassettes which were an order of magnitude better than vinyl LPs in convenience and price (Although LPs are surviving better as a niche product even now than cassettes have) DVDs are an order of magnitude better quality than VHS and smaller and easier to store as well.

Blue Ray? They look like DVDs they operate like DVDs and with a good enough TV and sound system they have marginally better video and sound quality than DVDs. But not an order of magnitude. You're right; the next format is non-physical, the storage of music and movies in digital form. Blue Ray won the last physical new format war but it was a Pyrrhic victory.

Flocons said...

Let us not forget the ridiculous hype around "3D television". I'm sure people want to buy 8 plastic 3D glasses for when their buddies come over to watch Avatar. Can you imagine a living room full of people wearing those things?

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